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fordfixer
08-05-2011, 02:02 AM
Steelers Notes: Dixon or Batch as third QB?
http://www.timesonline.com/sports/steel ... dee2e.html (http://www.timesonline.com/sports/steelers/steelers-notes-dixon-or-batch-as-third-qb/article_74fc49d3-2dfd-5a58-b463-97dd421dee2e.html)

Posted: Thursday, August 4, 2011

By Mike Bires mbires@timesonline.com

LATROBE -- Which of Dennis Dixon or Charlie Batch will earn the right to be the Steelers' third-team quarterback?

That debate raged last year in training camp and it's sure to again this year because last year both Dixon and Batch had to play. They were pressed into action early in the season while Ben Roethlisberger served a four-game suspension and Byron Leftwich rehabbed an injured knee.

Dixon, a fifth-round pick in 2008, started the season opener but then suffered a season-ending knee injury in Week 2. Batch, a 36-year-old, 14th-year pro, started the third and fourth games before Roethlisberger returned.

"When I get my practice reps and my number is called, I have to be ready to answer the bell," Dixon said.

After one week of camp, it's Batch who has the early edge. He's been here the whole time. As a restricted free agent who just agreed to a new contract Monday, Dixon wasn't allowed to practice until Thursday.

Plus, there's speculation that the Steelers weren't happy that Dixon was hoping to sign with another team which may have given him a better chance to play.

"My agent and I were looking around for teams but things didn't go as fast as we hoped," Dixon said. "I'm a competitor, and I want to play. So now I'm back here and I just want to get out there and get competitive again."

DABEARD.COM

Last season, Brett Keisel's beard was the talk of the Super Bowl. He's hoping it is again this year.

"The beard is back," said the Steelers' right defensive end.

In June 2010 while on a hunting trip with his father, Keisel didn't shave. In fact, he didn't shave the entire season. Keisel didn't shave his beard until late February as part of a fundraiser for cancer programs at Children's Hospital.

"I'll bet the beard gets as long as it did last year," he said. "Hopefully, we'll still be playing football in February again."

Last year, Keisel went as far as setting up an website for his beard: dabeard.com.

POLAMALU SITS OUT

On Sunday, all-star SS Troy Polamalu said that he's not yet fully recovered from a partially torn Achilles tendon that he suffered late last season.

On Wednesday, Polamalu and linebacker James Harrison were excused from practice.

"I took care of them," said coach Mike Tomlin, who often gives his veterans an occasional day off.

On Thursday, Harrison was back on the practice field. But Polamalu wasn't.

"Another day off," is all Tomlin had to say about Polamalu.

NEWS & NOTES

The Steelers cut four undrafted free agents: OT Joshua Harrison, QB Chris Dieker, LS Derek Chard and P Aaron Bates.

OL Dorian Brooks quit the team while LB Erik Clanton was placed on the waived/injured list.

The Steelers added on OG John Malecki (Franklin Regional/Pitt). Last year, Malecki spent time on the Tampa Bay and Cleveland practice squads.

The Steelers won't practice at St. Vincent College today. Instead, they work out at 7 p.m. at Memorial Stadium in downtown Latrobe.

Oviedo
08-05-2011, 08:56 AM
Without a doubt---Batch.

I hated that they brought back Dixon.

aggiebones
08-05-2011, 01:07 PM
I agree to preferring Batch for many reasons, but I'd go with Dixon for 1 year. Why? Because Batch isn't going anywhere and can walk off the street and play if we get in dire need of a 3rd QB, which is possible. Ben gets hurt a bit, Lefty comes in and breaks his hand. Dixon's knee isn't right. Batch is starting again for a few games.

But if you cut Dixon, he's gone. Somewhere as a 3rd guy.

So for one season, Go : Ben, Lefty, Dixon with Batch on speed dial and a few preseason reps.

Then draft SOMEONE next season. 5th rounder or whatever.
Then go : Ben, Lefty, rookie.
I thought they'd do that this year, but they didn't make a QB pick.

papillon
08-05-2011, 01:49 PM
I agree to preferring Batch for many reasons, but I'd go with Dixon for 1 year. Why? Because Batch isn't going anywhere and can walk off the street and play if we get in dire need of a 3rd QB, which is possible. Ben gets hurt a bit, Lefty comes in and breaks his hand. Dixon's knee isn't right. Batch is starting again for a few games.

But if you cut Dixon, he's gone. Somewhere as a 3rd guy.

So for one season, Go : Ben, Lefty, Dixon with Batch on speed dial and a few preseason reps.

Then draft SOMEONE next season. 5th rounder or whatever.
Then go : Ben, Lefty, rookie.
I thought they'd do that this year, but they didn't make a QB pick.

This would be my plan as well. No one is going to pick up Charlie Batch, he'll be available any time the Steelers need him. If they keep him and cut Dixon, Dixon will make a roster somewhere and the Steelers would lose him. Keep Dixon, cut Batch and as soon as one of quarterbacks gets hurt give Charlie the call.

Pappy

JPbucco
08-05-2011, 03:47 PM
Simple really, play Dixon a lot in preseason and hope he shines like he did last year. If so trade him for a late round pick.

If you can't trade him keep him as 3 and let him compete with Lefty for 2.

To even SUGGEST keeping Charlie over Dixon is foolish. Dixon has played well when given the chance and Batch would draw no interest from other teams.

Dixon has done nothing to deserve your scorn.

SMASHMOUTHFOOTBALL
08-05-2011, 11:08 PM
Neither---We don't need 3 Qb's

fordfixer
08-05-2011, 11:12 PM
Neither---We don't need 3 Qb's
IIRC we needed 3 last season

hawaiiansteel
08-05-2011, 11:20 PM
Neither---We don't need 3 Qb's
IIRC we needed 3 last season

IIRC we needed 4 QBs last season

fordfixer
08-05-2011, 11:22 PM
Neither---We don't need 3 Qb's
IIRC we needed 3 last season

IIRC we needed 4 QBs last season
You may be right

fordfixer
08-06-2011, 12:19 AM
Steelers QB Batch has respect through work
By Mark Kaboly, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Saturday, August 6, 2011
http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... 50328.html (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_750328.html)

Charlie Batch never knew there was such a thing as a 6 a.m. flight up until a couple months ago.

The Steelers' veteran backup quarterback quickly got familiar with early morning plane rides to New York City and Washington in his role as a member of the NFLPA's Executive Committee during the near five-month NFL labor strife.

Batch has been one of the 11 player-appointed top representatives made up of current and former players for the past four years, and worked tirelessly over the last five months alongside some of the most powerful businessmen in the world to ensure a fair deal to his fellow teammates.

The new collective bargaining agreement was finally ratified by the players Thursday, even though the Steelers were the one team that casted a no vote.

"He went through hell dealing with this stuff," 15-year veteran James Farrior said. "He had a lot of responsibility and a lot of stuff to do over that last five months. I know it was hard for him."

whether it was in New York City or Washington, Batch was front and center at every marathon meeting during the critical negotiations last month between the owners and players

"It was a busy, busy five months, let's put it that way," Batch said. "There were times that you were drained, and your body said enough is enough, and it shuts down on you. That happened a couple of times."

Batch is very involved with his Best of the Batch Foundation, especially during the summer, when he runs the largest program in his foundation, Project C.H.U.C.K, a six-week basketball league for youth in his hometown of Homestead.

The league took place during the crunch time of the labor negotiations in June and July. Still, Batch was able to be there for his foundation and even find time to attend some summer football camps held by some of his teammates, including Ryan Mundy on July 23, two days before the owners approved a new CBA.

"There were times that I had to split my time," Batch said. "I was here doing my camp, but I always want to support everybody else because the support they give me here in Pittsburgh. When it comes down to it, they understood that I had to leave, but it was tough trying please everybody."

Batch gained an interest in the financial and labor part of the game when he was in Detroit and wasn't able to participate in intellectual conversations about pension plans or even the CBA with his elder teammates.

"It caught my interest right away," Batch said.

Batch soon took on the unofficial role of player rep in Detroit behind Robert Porcher. He did the same when he came to the Steelers in 2002.

Batch was appointed Steelers players rep in '06. He then was nominated by teammate Ryan Clark two years later to be a part of the executive committee.

"You have 32 guys that have to vote for you and unanimously voted for me, from a respect factor, it means a lot," Batch said.

Farrior said: "We voted him that guy for a reason, and that's because we knew he could do the job. He has it in his blood."

So much so that teammate Willie Colon believes Batch would be a great NFLPA head in the future, a job currently held by DeMaurice Smith.

"To hear that, that means I am doing my job," Batch said. "I took my job very seriously."

Batch didn't rule out even more involvement with the NFLPA after his playing career is over.

"I'll see what happens down the line," Batch said. "Going through it gives you a different perspective. You are sitting across from the owners when you are going through this fight. It's not hearsay. You are right there and I was able to relay that to my teammates. I enjoyed that part of it."

Read more: Steelers QB Batch has respect through work - Pittsburgh Tribune-Review http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... z1UDc9SCIG (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_750328.html#ixzz1UDc9SCIG)

Steelerphile
08-06-2011, 07:12 AM
Batch has been an ideal backup when healthy but he has become brittle, seemingly and he is aging.

The main thing I don't like about Dixon is his raillike build. I think that makes him vulnerable. I think it is untrue and unfair to pull out the lame stereotype of the "running quarterback" who can't read defenses again on him. He has passed capably in the limited opportunities he has had. Of course he needs to keep improving as every player does, but I actually don't think Batch has much over him as a passer now, and Dixon should keep getting better.

So I prefer Dixon, but this is one guy that needs to ask for seconds because if he could just get some more muscle on his frame, I think he might have a chance to be good.

SidSmythe
08-06-2011, 09:18 AM
Neither ... go w/ 2 QBs and keep some bum on the practice squad.

Batch is nice but if he's playing any sort of football, he'll get hurt. So he's better off staying at home (preferably a ranch house w/ no stairs) and sitting by the phone (hopefully one w/ a headset so he doesn't strain a bicep picking up the phone) and waiting for the Steelers to call if Ben or Lefty go down

hawaiiansteel
08-07-2011, 09:14 PM
NFP Sunday Blitz

by Dan Pompei
August 7

"Teams in need of a backup quarterback might want to dial the 412 area code. The Steelers have Byron Leftwich, Charlie Batch and Dennis Dixon all lined up behind Ben Roethlisberger. They Steelers like all three, but they can’t keep them all. Any of the backups might be moved in a deal, because the Steelers would rather get something in return than have to cut one."

http://www.nationalfootballpost.com/NFP ... -5672.html (http://www.nationalfootballpost.com/NFP-Sunday-Blitz-5672.html)

fordfixer
08-09-2011, 12:22 AM
The Steel Mill
News and updates about the Pittsburgh Steelers

http://blog.triblive.com/steel-mill/201 ... lcome-one/ (http://blog.triblive.com/steel-mill/2011/08/08/dixon-never-asked-for-trade-but-would-welcome-one/)



Dixon never asked for trade, but would welcome one
August 8th, 2011

For the record, Dennis Dixon never asked the Steelers to trade him, nor will he.
That doesn’t mean Dixon wouldn’t welcome a trade with open arms.
“It’s not that I don’t want to (be traded), but I’ve never (asked for) a trade before,” Dixon said.
Dixon wants to have a shot to compete for a starting quarterback spot, but knows that there is no opportunity in his current situation as the Steelers’ No. 3 quarterback behind Ben Roethlisberger.
So the former Oregon star, who was the Steelers’ fifth-round choice in 2008, has two choices – get traded or play out the season and test the free agency market next year.
Dixon was a restricted free agent this year and the Steelers slapped a modest fifth-round tender on him before the lockout. After shopping himself around the league for a week, Dixon decided to sign the tender to return to the Steelers for a little more than a $1 million.
“It is kind of tough to say right now,” Dixon said when asked if he wants to be traded. “As long as I have a job, I am happy. I love Pittsburgh to death, but if anything else comes my way, I will be happy as well.”
It’s obvious that Dixon wants out of Pittsburgh, and how can you blame him?
He really has no chance to become a starter with the Steelers, and even has as little a chance of being the backup with Byron Leftwich seemingly entrenched into that spot.
Dixon has all the talent in the world but nowhere to show it.
He looked good, albeit in a scaled-back look against Atlanta when he threw for 236 yards in last year’s opener.
But that, and a couple of preseason games, is all we have to base Dixon’s abilities on — not nearly enough for any team to offer the Steelers anything other than a 6th- or 7th-round pick.
What we do know is that Dixon is young (26), he has a boatload of talent and he wants to start.
Two of those things are perfect for the Steelers, except for the latter.
“Whether it is No. 2 or No. 1, you want to play,” Dixon said. “At the end of the day, I can’t control that. All I can do is do what I can do. The reps that I get, I have to take seriously.”
Enter Friday’s first preseason game against the Redskins.
Of course, Roethlisberger isn’t going to see much time as well as the veterans of Leftwich and Charlie Batch.
Friday’s going to be a time that Dixon needs to shine … actually, this entire preseason is a time that he has to shine if he wants to have any future in this league.
Dixon, more than any of the 89 players on the roster, is auditioning for a job league-wide.
“Not only 31 teams but just my teammates in general,” Dixon said. “Just to show them that I am here and we will get things done if my number is called.”
Whether he is traded or not this year doesn’t matter because this will be the final year for Dixon as a Steeler.
That’s for certain.
He will be an unrestricted free agent next year and is surely will find a better opportunity somewhere else in the league.
“I will talk to my agent in depth when that time comes,” Dixon said. “The business side of things can take its toll some times and if that’s the way it goes, then that’s the way it goes.”
– By Mark Kaboly

Chadman
08-09-2011, 12:36 AM
Trade Dixon to Seattle or some other QB needy team- get what you can for him. Some here clamour to keep him because of his potential- and to a degree, fair enough- but he'll never get the chance to show it, or properly develop his skills, if he sits #3 on the depth chart. Ben & Lefty could be #1 & #2 for the next 5-6 years easily. Batch may as well be #3 & used as Ben's extra set of eyes as well as a positive locker-room guy for the young players.

AkronSteel
08-09-2011, 12:43 AM
Easy answer in Dixon because the team could keep Batch on speed dial and I don't see him being picked up by anyone else. The only monkey wrench that could change that philosophy is someone dealing with injuries at the position and offering the Steelers a deal that they can't turn down for DD.

hawaiiansteel
08-09-2011, 03:06 AM
Dixon says he will never ask Steelers to trade him

By Mark Kaboly, PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW
Tuesday, August 9, 2011

http://files.pittsburghlive.com/photos/2011-08-08/0809stdixon-a.jpg

Dennis Dixon said Monday that he never asked the Steelers to trade him, nor will he.

However, that doesn't mean the Steelers' reserve quarterback wouldn't welcome a trade with open arms. "It's not that I don't want to (be traded), but I've never (asked for) a trade before," Dixon said. Dixon wants to have a shot to compete for a starting quarterback spot, but he knows that there is not an opportunity in his current situation as the Steelers' No. 3 quarterback behind Ben Roethlisberger. There was a report last week that Dixon's agent, Jeff Sperbeck, asked the Steelers to trade his client. Dixon did not refute that report. "He was kind of frustrated as far as things not going our way during free agency," Dixon said. Dixon, 26, was a restricted free agent this past offseason, and the Steelers slapped a modest fifth-round tender on him before the lockout. After shopping himself around the league for a week, Dixon decided to sign the tender to return to the Steelers for a little more than a $1 million. "It is kind of tough to say right now," Dixon said when asked if he wants to be traded. "As long as I have a job, I am happy. I love Pittsburgh to death, but if anything else comes my way, I will be happy as well." Dixon will be an unrestricted free agent next year.

-- Free agent wide receiver Jerricho Cotchery left St. Vincent College yesterday without a contract. Cotchery, who played for the N.Y. Jets for seven seasons, was the second veteran receiver the Steelers have entertained since arriving at camp. Plaxico Burress visited the Steelers before eventually signing with the Jets. The Steelers would like to add a veteran wideout with Hines Ward to a young group that consists of Mike Wallace, Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders.

-- Rashard Mendenhall welcomes as many carries as Mike Tomlin affords him this year, even if he is coming off a year where he had more carries than any other back in the league including the postseason (385). "I feel fine, and I am ready for whatever they want to give me," Mendenhall said. Even though Mendenhall said that pounding never got to him last year, he did add: "stuff adds up after a while." In 31 career starts over a 16-month span including the playoffs, Mendenhall has carried the ball 620 times.

Inside the ropes

Hines Ward was removed from the physically unable to perform list and practiced for the first time this training camp Monday.

Ward missed eight practices while still recovering from offseason surgery to repair a torn ligament in his left thumb.

"It felt good getting back out here," Ward said. "I needed a starting point, and today was a good starting point."

Ward went through selected team drills and said he is uncertain if he will play in Friday's preseason opener at Washington.

Ward was able to make a couple of nice catches including a sliding grab at the 1-yard line from Ben Roethlisberger during a red-zone drill.

Ward, who injured his thumb during a Week 2 game in Tennessee last year, plans on wearing a splint on the thumb for the foreseeable future.

"I will be fine for the season opener in Baltimore," Ward said.

-- Gov. Tom Corbett, a Shaler native, was on hand to watch Steelers practice yesterday after spending the morning tending to gubernatorial duties in Pittsburgh. Corbett met with owner Dan Rooney during practice and coach Mike Tomlin along with Brett Keisel and Aaron Smith afterward. "I'm a Steeler," Corbett said. "The first thing I did when I moved into the governor's residence was put up the sign 'You're in Steelers Country' in the middle of the state dining room."

-- The Steelers picked up rookie defensive end Jarrett Crittenton and released Ty Boyle.

-- Not practicing were OL Ramon Foster, OL Chris Kemoeatu, TE Eugene Bright, WR Armand Robinson, WR Adam Mims, LB James Harrison, CB Cortez Allen, CB Curtis Brown, LB Mario Harvey and WR Emmanuel Sanders. WR Limas Sweed (shoulder) and LT Jonathan Scott (ankle) left practice early, while CB Crezdon Butler and CB Bryant McFadden were limited to individual drills.

-- Franklin Regional and Pitt graduate John Malecki took some snaps at center.

Newcomer watch

Cameron Heyward

Defensive end, 6-foot-5, 288 pounds

College

Ohio State, rookie first-round

Competition

Heyward is catching on well to D!ck LeBeau's complex 3-4 scheme and could see plenty of action as the season progresses, even though Mike Tomlin rarely uses rookies during their first year. Heyward sits behind veteran Brett Keisel at right defensive end.

Camp moment

Monday's practice was Heyward's most impressive so far. Heyward scraped down the line nicely during one play to clobber rookie running back John Clay for no gain; stood toe-to-toe with Doug Legursky twice during one-on-one drills; and routinely ran to the ball 30 yards down the field.

Quotable

"I am trying to get better every day. I am just starting to get into better football shape. To be on the field and run with these guys, I am just getting better." -- Cameron Heyward

http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsbu ... z1UVNREisk (http://www.pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/sports/steelers/s_750623.html#ixzz1UVNREisk)